The other day while speaking with my fellow brother Steve he mentioned how someone told him his prayer was going unanswered because he wasn’t praying earnestly enough. This statement infers it is his solely his lack of faith for God not answering his prayer. This statement troubled me.
There is no doubt that prayer is powerful. I’ve seen countless prayers answered when all hope seemed lost. People healed, burdens lifted, persons saved. I’ve also seen many prayers unanswered with no definitive answer and because my heart wasn’t right with God.
In essence, unanswered prayers have more to do with our heart’s condition. Let me explain. Dr. Charles Stanely summarizes this well, noting a few highly possible reasons.
The first, we don’t want God, we want what he has to offer. The issue with this is that God wants us conformed to his likeness. He wants us to make His will and purpose our primary priority in our life and our prayer request. This condition brings about the second reason, trust.
Trusting God does not mean we get everything we want when we want it. Trusting God means relying on his timing, his way, and for his purposes. Complete trust in God is the definition of faith. Read requires us sometimes to “wait,” sometimes to accept “no,” and sometimes to “go.”
Yet another reason our prayers go unanswered could be due to unresolved or unconfessed sin in our life. Bitterness, anger, envy, lust, unforgiveness, indifference, etc. all have the power to hinder our prayers.
Therefore we must first confess these and repent before coming to ask God for something.
Prayer then is about growing in your complete reliance on God because when you do, he’ll give you more than you deserve, more than you asked for, and more than you expected.
Answer and Journal the Following
Read and meditate on Isaiah 38:1-10.
What are prayers in your life are currently unanswered? Based on the above, what do you believe is the reason? Be real; be honest.
Pray and ask God first to search your heart for unconfessed sin and then make your request(s) aligned with His will. Write these down and meditate over them. Be specific.
Bonus: Share this with a fellow brother and have them hold you accountable.